Parkside IRC water refill station tale

This is an urban legend/tall tale from a friend living at Parkside IRC about the water refill stations on every floor.


“So like, you know the water stations on every floor at IRC, right? Well, there’s this thing that happens every exam season where every time I try to fill my water the water comes out warm or hot. And I’ve talked to some people at IRC about it and apparently, it happens to them too. One person even says that the water tastes more metallic than usual during midterms. People say that like maybe there’s a ghost, you know, the Parkside ghost, that’s screwing with students when they’re at their most stressed time. Because there’s nothing worse than wanting a refreshing drink and getting lukewarm water instead.”


“I live in IRC so I notice when things I’m used to aren’t what they are like usually. I get my water from the station every day (I don’t even use the Brita that I bought at the beginning of the year) so I definetely notice if there’s a change. Usually I don’t really care if the water’s different, but everyone is on edge during exams. I guess maybe because I’m so stressed this kind of event becomes ingrained in my memory and it feels extra worse.”


Exam season is a stressful time for everyone, especially for people like my informant because she is in pre-engineering and needs to get good grades in order to get into the program that she wants next year. Many of my informant’s friends are also in pre-engineering and computer science, which is known as one of the most stressful and difficult majors (there’s a common saying that CS majors don’t shower or go outside because they’re too busy in their rooms coding,) so they are also similarly suffering and undergoing great amounts of stress.

When people are stressed, it’s common that even the smallest incidents feel huge and insufferable. Their stress amplifies things that people can usually brush off. Likewise, getting lukewarm water when you wanted an ice-cold drink can feel like the world is ending when you’re already stressed about exams or essays.

When people feel like they’ve been unrightfully wronged and can’t find an explanation for it, they try to find a divine or supernatural reason for what happened. For instance, when a storm suddenly comes without warning, some people blame God’s anger. In this case, people created a ghost to blame for the disappointing water.